Senior second baseman Christine Ramos broke the school record for hits in a career as the UCSB softball team took two of three at Bakersfield this weekend. The Gauchos (11-7 overall) split the first day with the Roadrunners (7-8) after dropping the second game in extras, but controlled the rubber match with a commanding two-hit performance from junior right-handed hurler Lindsay Correa.
“[Correa] was great,” junior MeLinda Matsumoto said. “She was hitting her spots, making the right pitches … I definitely expect more of that from her in the future.”
UCSB began the series off on the right foot, with Ramos doubling to left field in the match-up’s first at-bat. After reaching third on a Gaucho ground out, Ramos was brought home by senior outfielder Tiffany Wright on the first of her game-high three hits. Fast-forwarding to the top of the third, sophomore Brittany Johnson pegged sophomore infielder Jessica Beristianos to load the bases, setting the table for freshman utility Amanda Ziegler to slam a three-RBI to right center, stretching the Gaucho lead to 4-0. The Roadrunners would respond in the bottom half with three runs of their own – all three of which came with two outs on the board – but from there the Santa Barbara bullpen took over. Given a 4-3 lead, freshman Jenny Liepmann stepped in for fellow freshman Krista Cobb, surrendering only two hits over two innings. Senior Tami Weston earned the save with a hitless seventh inning, giving Cobb her sixth win in as many starts. Bakersfield simply could not cash in with runners on, stranding eight in game one.
In game two, Santa Barbara looked to bury Bakersfield early, with Wright slugging a three-run jack, her second of the year, followed two batters later by Ziegler’s third of year, a solo shot to left. UCSB increased their lead to 6-0 after manufacturing a pair of small-ball runs at the top of the fourth, but then the Roadrunners took off. Junior Shawna Truan took the circle in the fifth and held the Gauchos to three hits for the remainder of game two. Santa Barbara never got a handle on Truan, and could only watch in horror as Bakersfield tied the game at 6-6 in the final inning of regulation. In extras, it would be Bakersfield’s Justeen Maeva whose RBI single proved to be the difference in an improbable 7-6 comeback victory over the visitors. Matsumoto lasted six and a third for the Gauchos, surrendered six runs on nine hits and struck out two.
“We definitely let that one get away,” Matsumoto said. “We just couldn’t control the little things at the end of the game that mattered.”
Seemingly furious at their narrow defeat the previous day, UCSB looked to leave no doubt in the third game. While she struggled with her control early on, Correa put together her second complete game in a row, this time allowing only two hits and no runs with only one walk. UCSB’s offense did the rest, with Beristianos leading the team with two RBI and two hits. As for Ramos, the senior secured her place in Gaucho lore with a single to left off of Johnson, passing Tonya Dias and becoming UCSB’s leader in career hits at 209. UCSB went on to win the game, and the series, 6-0.